Plastic materials deliver significant societal benefits, including energy and resource savings, consumer protection and innovations that improve health care, reduce food spoilage and improve quality of life. For society to receive the benefits that plastics can provide, it is essential to properly recover them so that litter does not threaten our natural environment, including marine ecosystems.
Plastic is present as debris in the marine environment as a result of poor or insufficient waste management, lack of sufficient recycling / recovery and bad practices such as land and marine litter. These are large and complex issues with societal and economic challenges, and are more than any single entity, industry, or government can solve. Building on work in individual regions, many organisations are coming together to work with governments, NGOs, researchers and other stakeholders to prevent marine litter.